The short stories of Lucia Berlin are headed to the big screen, Variety reports.

Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett will star in a film adaptation of Berlin’s short story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women. The film will be the first English-language movie from Pedro Almodóvar, the legendary Spanish director of films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

Berlin’s collection was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2015, almost 11 years after her death at 68. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus praised the book as “a testament to a writer whose explorations of society’s rougher corners deserve wider attention.”


The book became a bestseller and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and introduced the late Berlin, whose work had previously been published by indie press Black Sparrow, to a wide audience. Another posthumous collection, Evening in Paradise, followed three years later.

Blanchett and Almodóvar will produce the film along with Andrew Upton (Carol), Coco Francini (Skylanders Academy), Brian Oliver (Black Swan), and Bradley Fischer (Suspiria).

There’s no word yet on additional cast and crew for the film, which Variety says “is in the early stages of development.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.